Annotated Solution to the Jotto Puzzle of the Day

May 6, 2003

guilt - 2
jimmy - 1
quirk - 2
broil - 2
vapid - 1
mazes - 0
novum - 1
cubic - 2
We've got one zero, so let's start with that. Taking out the letters in mazes from the rest of the puzzle leaves us with:
guilt - 2
jiy - 1
quirk - 2
broil - 2
vpid - 1
novu - 1
cubic - 2
Not too much to work with, but we do have one word that lets us play with only three possibilities (jiy=1), so let's start with that.

Since i is a lot more common than either j or y, let's start by assuming the word has an i. Reducing the puzzle with that in mind gives us:


One small thing to note is that we can disregard the second c in cubic only because we are left with only one letter in that word. If we were left with more than that, we would have to account for the possibility that both c's were in the word.

Reducing with the new zeros gives us:


Since u is a common letter to a lot of these, let's try assuming it's in there next. That's a nice techinque for clearing a lot of things out. So, assuming there's a u, the puzzle reduces to:


Notice that there can be no b (cb=0), r (qrk=0), o (no=0), or l (glt=0). However, we need to have one of those letters (brol=1), so we have a contradiction. This means that, if there is an i, then there is not a u.

Let's try the l with the i next, since it's in a couple of the remaining words. Remember that we know that there is no u if there is an i, so we can reduce the puzzle to:


Reducing with the new zeros gives us:


It's a good bet that there's no q since there's no u. That leaves us with ilknc. Playing with anagrams of that gives us the answer: clink.

Jotto Puzzle of the Day
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Last modified: 07 May 2003